Reflecting on Mark 10: 17-30
Imagining a camel small enough to fit through the eye of a needle can make you stop and rub your eyes and say, “WHAAAT?” This hyperbole for things we could never possibly do was a common example in the world of Jesus, and he certainly meant the image to be taken seriously when he taught about what it takes to enter the kingdom of God.
I have been blessed in my life to be almost constantly in the presence of deeply wise people, people for whom the pursuit of and submission to wisdom has been far more important than any other crown. So when my lifelong friend Mary Frances Jaster answered the phone today I said, without preamble, “Talk to me about the rich young man.” Without missing a beat, she referred me to lyrics from a song I didn’t know, lyrics that tell of being touched by seeing a man with no clothes, no money, no plate.
There are blessed moments in life that shrink us. Seeing the Afghan refugees arriving with no clothes, no money, no plate is one of them. Standing in a dark field on a dark night and seeing the galaxy twinkling above is another. That same galaxy certainly inspired the psalmist to ask “Who are we, God, that you are mindful of us (8:4)?
There are other moments that shrink us too, like when we realize how wrong we’ve been, and how much God has forgiven our arrogance. I love finally seeing the world from God’s perspective. Like John the Baptist, I want to decrease, so that Jesus in me may increase. Somehow, the more space he takes up, the less space I need.
In what ways have you felt yourself shrink as Jesus makes more room in you?